Electrical Distribution Technician
Electrical Distribution Technicians provide electrical engineering support to operational units at home and abroad.
The Electrical Distribution Technician is one of seven Construction Engineering positions involved in the supply of all construction, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering services in support of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations worldwide. The primary responsibilities of an Electrical Distribution Technician are to:
- Install, repair and maintain high and low voltage electrical distribution systems, portable and fixed airfield lighting systems, fire alarm and security systems
- Produce associated electrical designs and specifications and drawings
- Conduct reconnaissance related to the above, and assist other Construction Engineering tradespersons
Electrical Distribution Technicians often work with the challenges that come with varying environmental conditions. Electrical Distribution Technicians maintain their skills while employed at home units or on humanitarian and United Nations operational assignments.
Pay and career development
The starting salary for a fully trained Electrical Distribution Technician is $49,400 per year; however, depending on previous experience and training the starting salary may be higher. Electrical Distribution Technicians who demonstrate the required ability, dedication and potential are selected for opportunities for career progression, promotion and advanced training.
Related civilian occupations
- Appliance Repair Technician
- Fire Alarm Installer and Repairer
- Security Alarm Installer and Maintainer
- Certified Engineering Technician (Electrical)
Basic military qualification
The first stage of training is the Basic Military Qualification course, or Basic Training, held at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. This training provides the basic core skills and knowledge common to all trades. A goal of this course is to ensure that all recruits maintain the Forces physical fitness standard; as a result, the training is physically demanding.
Basic occupational qualification training
Electrical Distribution Technicians attend a seven-day course to train to climb hydro poles up to 30 metres in height and towers taller than 30 metres. Continued training depends upon successful completion of this course.
Electrical Distribution Technicians then attend the School of Military Engineering in Gagetown, New Brunswick. Training takes approximately 19 weeks and includes:
- Environmental skills such as defensive tactics and firearms
- Care and use of common and special purpose tools and test equipment
- Application of occupational codes and regulations
- Interpretation of drawings and schematics
- Climbing hydro poles
- High and low voltage electrical distribution systems
- Lighting systems
- Fire alarm systems
- Airfield lighting systems
- Electrical motors and controls
- Electrical and electronic principles
Electrical Distribution Technicians may be offered the opportunity to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training.
The minimum required education to apply for this position is the completion of the provincial requirements for Grade 10 or Secondaire IV in Quebec or equivalent secondary school education, including: Grade 10 academic math or math 436 in Quebec. Foreign education may be accepted.
This occupation is available part-time within the following environment: Air Force
Serve with the Reserve Force
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at an Air Force Wing in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move to another base. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Electrical Distribution Technicians may serve with the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force and are employed to provide electrical engineering support for CAF training and operations. Those employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis usually serve at a military base, wing or unit located within Canada.
Reserve Force training
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Following basic military training, Electrical Distribution Technicians attend a seven-day course to train to climb hydro poles up to 30 metres in height and towers taller than 30 metres. Continued training is dependent upon successful completion of this course, which takes approximately 19 weeks, and is conducted at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering in Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends (Air Reserve Electrical Distribution Technicians usually serve up to 12 days per month in a regular work day), although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 85 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.
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